As a high school teacher, I routinely see youth in pursuit of "adult-ness." Kids do all kinds of things that they think will make them grownup. Some of these kids are more mature than others, but I think the ones who simply relish their status are few and far between.
I can recall my own days of adolescence in much the same state. I was always seeking "next." In high school, I was ready for college. In college, I was ready for a job. In a relationship, I was ready for marriage. In marriage, I was ready for baby. And then - over two years ago now, that had all happened for me, and it gave me great pause. Where was the "next?" What was the "next" supposed to be? I had checked all the boxes off my giant to do list.
I had some very real growing pains after Moose was born, grappling with this unknown territory. I didn't know what I should be working towards next, and of course I had no idea just what it was I was doing being a mom. When the Lord blessed us with a second pregnancy, things began to change for me. I realized that it could (and very well may be) my last pregnancy. The glowing, radiating, pinnacle of my teenage-dreamed up success hierarchy would be done. With Moose that felt overwhelming- depressing even, but the second time? It felt triumphant. I felt powerful. I had this realization that if this was going to be the last chance I had to be this person I had always dreamed about, then I would embrace it and ROCK IT! And that is exactly what I did with my pregnancy with Bo. I owned it. I loved it, and as a result I felt so much more confident when he arrived in the world.
Somewhere in those nine months o found my "next." Mom. Three simple letters, but my teenage visions of the future went only as far as the big belly and fun cravings. I never really imagined the rest - you know the ACTUAL LIFE PART, and do you know what's so dadgum funny about it... It's the BEST PART OF MY WHOLE LIFE.
I feel spoiled sometimes that I get to be a wife and a mom. We have a happy, healthy home, and I am beyond grateful. It's so much more than I could have ever put on that checklist of my life. There's rarely any high action drama. I am one of those people that I thought was Lame with a capital L, but I find myself wishing I could tell every black fingernail polish wearing girl that there's so much MORE. Just more.
I wish I could convey how incredible it is to watch your nearly one year old climb into his brother's chair at the table and steal the rest of his pizza. Then watch him toddle around trying to be just like big brother. The love, seriously, the incredible fullness of your heart for your husband and your kids and your own mom for going through it all with you. Seriously, it's a feeling that is more powerful than any of my nights of tear-filled angst.
Tomorrow, when I try to explain it to the teenagers, I am nearly certain it won't be heard the way I intend and half of them will think I'm crazy. But if I can get it through to one kid - high school is NOT. YOUR. LIFE. There's infinitely more out there for you. Just take your time and follow Gods plan for your life (and even if you make a few missteps along the way) you will see there's just more. Life is so worth it. Sometimes it just takes a few more years than you realize to get there.